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Celebrate the Year of the Wood Horse Right!

Traditions are important in Chinese culture, and to make sure you welcome positive energy this Lunar New Year, follow these steps on New Years Day and the two weeks following New Years’ Day.
On New Years’ Day, January 31st:
Sasin TipchaiEverything associated with New Years day itself should represent good fortune. It is especially auspicious to be with people you love and who bring you joy. Be careful of your actions, be selective of what you eat, and be mindful of what you say on this day to ensure good fortune.
If possible, celebrate this day as a holiday, take a day off from work. Throughout Asia, January 31st and February 1st are civic holidays. Celebrate, visit family and friends, and pay respect to ancestors.
Start the New Year with new, bright-colored clothes, especially auspicious red! One’s appearance and attitude on this day will set the tone for the rest of the year. Avoid black or white clothing as is a not considered auspicious.
Ensure your first taste of the day is something sweet so that the year will bring you much good news.
Greet everyone with kind words and happy wishes. This gesture is believed to bring in a year of peace. The Cantonese greet each other with “Gung Hei Fat Choy” which means “Congratulations! Your Wealth Increases!” Or “Sun Neen Fai Loh”, which means simply, “Happy New Year!”.
Never cry or complain on New Year’s Day. It is believed that if you cry or complain on this day, it is a negative omen of what will come for the rest of the year. It is best to not gossip, argue with or malign anyone today, and really, isn’t it best to be like that every day? The focus of today is upon the future, so engage in thoughts and activities of what you would like to see happen and remain positive.
Keep all doors and windows open throughout the day to allow the new luck to fill your home! Keep every part of your home well lit to ensure maximum luck.
Don’t sweep the floor, remove garbage or use scissors or get a haircut today. This signifies sweeping or cutting away your good fortune. Some would go so far as to not wash their hair today because this might wash away their good luck for the year.
Parents and close family will give two Lai See (Red Envelopes with money enclosed) to each child. Because happiness comes in twos, do not give just one. This is the way of passing good luck to the next generation. In some Chinese communities, all married folk give Red Envelopes to all the unmarried children they know and meet during the New Year period. This can be quite a change and a burden for newly married couples!
New Years Day is traditionally a vegetarian day, or at least until dinner, to signify no killing on the first day of the New Year.
Following these steps will help you welcome a prosperous and fruitful 2014! If you would like to learn more about how to manage that positive energy, join Marlyna for one of her workshops. A full events listing can be found on Eventbrite.
Image ©Sasin Tipchai/

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